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24 SEP 2018

Celebrating inclusion and embracing diversity

From construction workers marching alongside a rainbow digger at this year’s Pride events, to BAME surveyors speaking at 10 Downing Street – the built environment sector is embracing diversity.

To celebrate national inclusion week (24 Sept - 30 Sept) we take a look at some of the leading networks – and their achievements - that are actively encouraging more equality in the property industry.

DiverseCity Surveyors

DiverseCity Surveyors (DCS) offer quality advice and support services as well as educational training (including CPD) to BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) surveyors who are members of RICS, irrespective of their physical location, across the world.

Earlier this year they were invited to a unique roundtable event at 10 Downing Street where they discussed ways of improving engagement and opportunities for BAME professionals and communities, with officials from the Prime Minister’s office.

DCS Founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun FRICS said it was heartening to observe the government’s commitment to 'fairness' and the establishment of policy change in pursuit of social justice. He also said it was refreshing to see younger DCS members given the opportunity to voice their concerns around the 'pipeline of change' via the Race and Disparity Audit.

Find out more about DiverseCity Surveyors and their visit to 10 Downing Street.

Surveying Sisterhood

Earlier this year, a group of female RICS professionals joined forces to form a support network – known as the Surveying Sisterhood - with the aim of making women in surveying more visible and tackling some of the issues they face working in a male dominated industry.

Together they have featured in insightful video conversations – as part of the ‘Women in Surveying’ online Sisterhood Summit led by Marion Ellis MRICS – with topics ranging from managing menopause at work, presenting your best self, to calling for safety wear that fits women, and not just the average sized man. They have since launched the Surveying Sisterhood blog to increase dialogue and have a dedicated platform to promote and celebrate surveyors across the breadth of the industry.

Sara Cameron MRICS of the Surveying Sisterhood said: “What we’ve found with the Surveying Sisterhood is a shared desire to celebrate women in the profession and support, mentor and raise each other up. It is about being authentic and bringing your whole self to the profession, not just what you think is expected. The Surveying Sisterhood is not only increasing visibility of female surveyors, it is also raising the profile of the wider profession and helping to inspire the next generation to also love it. Together we are making a positive change, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Join in the Surveying Sisterhood conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SurveyingSisterhood

Research suggests that businesses with a healthy balance of men and women are 15 percent more likely to outperform their competitors, while those with employees from a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 35 percent more likely. An open and inclusive industry - where nobody has to ever to hide who they are - will help us attract more talent from all backgrounds.

Barry Cullen, RICS, Diversity & Inclusion Director

#BuildingEquality

An alliance of construction companies – including Arcadis, Arup, Balfour Beatty, BAM, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Mace and Mott MacDonald – have joined forces to form an LGBT working group for those working in construction, known as #BuildingEquality.

The growing group offers greater diversity within the industry through its involvement in many built-environment initiatives aimed at promoting fairness, inclusion and respect at grassroots, including attendance at a record number of pride events; Manchester, London, Newcastle, Leeds, and Student Pride. Looking ahead, #BuildingEquality aim to continue to drive change, not just through main contractors but also through their supply chains.

Building Equality is paving the way for an open and inclusive industry, which promotes discussion on equality, diversity and inclusion – opening channels for issues and opportunities to be acted upon.

Luke Ives, Chair of Manchester Building Equality and Co-Chair of the Balfour Beatty LGBT+ & Allies Network